Reviews

“The music features unhurried tempi with a good deal of repetition and pianistic writing that helps the learner to assimilate the material rapidly” - Pianist Magazine (2021)

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PIANO MEDITATIONS Sheet Music Book - Adrian Lord

Piano Meditations is Adrian Lord’s third piano album; it is self-published but there are no quibbles about its presentation. A few years ago, he published a collection of 12 calming and atmospheric pieces in a book titled Sky Blue Piano, and the five pieces in the new album bear the same qualities. The music features unhurried tempi with a good deal of repetition and pianistic writing that helps the learner to assimilate the material rapidly. On first playing the pieces you may come across occasional puzzling harmonic changes, but listening to the music float by in the hands of the composer (his recordings are available on CD, Spotify, and Apple Music) erases any doubts of his craft. The shortest and easiest piece - Space - is just 31 bars long, and is accessible to pianists around Grade 4, whilst the longest piece, Ascend, is four pages long and comfortably be tackled by Grade 6 pianists.

Michael McMillan - PIANIST MAGAZINE (Issue 121 August - September 2021)

“I certainly felt lighter, calmer and totally relaxed after the concert.  His music was even better live - make sure you don't miss him!" - Buxton Fringe 2021

I'd loved Adrian Lord's on line Fringe entry last year so I had high expectations of his Saturday concert. I was not disappointed as his music was even better live.

Like many of our performers this year Adrian spoke about his lack of practice before a live audience and his joy at being back in front of an auditorium of real people. Judging by the reactions the audience were equally happy to hear and see him.

During the pandemic Adrian had set up a Facebook page and performed on line. He was inspired by the positive feedback he received to his concerts to write 'Piano Meditations', a set of pieces to bring a sense of calm to the listener. With evocative names such as Waves, Snowfall, Ascend and Evermore, I certainly felt lighter, calmer and totally relaxed after the concert.

As well as exerts from 'Meditations' Adrian also played four pieces from his debut album 'Journey - Twelve Romances for Piano' I admit I was moved at his lovely dedication of 'The Wedding' to his wife but more so for 'A Time to Remember' dedicated to the woman who set him on his journey as a pianist and composer at age six - his Mum. But my favourite from this selection has to have been 'Ripples' I closed my eyes and saw water running gently over rocks, falling through the leaves on trees and gently lapping waves.

The final set of music came from his second album ' Sky Blue Piano' which was the album I had loved last year and it was even better listening to it live. The sound that Adrian's fingers brought from the piano keys filled the Church lifting the audience and transporting us just for a little while to the beautiful landscapes of Scotland and the Lake District, the settings for much of Adrian's inspiration.

Regretfully this was his only performance at this year's Fringe, hopefully he will return next year and if he does make sure you don't miss him!

Carole Garner

Read their concert review here

"I highly recommend listening to this album if you enjoy soothing instrumental music” (Piano Meditations) - Jem Girl At The Piano (April 2021)

I recently shared a press release from piano composer Adrian Lord, who champions the idea that music is good for the brain. As a pianist and music lover myself, it is something that I have always believed in. I am now delighted to share my review of Adrian’s latest album Piano Meditations and the accompanying music book.

Piano Meditations is Adrian’s 5 track album of soothing piano music that is ideal for meditation and general relaxation. Each track has its own flow and identity and a couple of them, end in almost a cliffhanger style to keep you listening.

The track listing:

1) Waves
2) Snowfall
3) Space
4) Ascend
5) Evermore

Upon my first listen, I could tell that Adrian’s piano playing is exceptional and you can tell he is a thorough professional. The piano is such a versatile instrument and it is no surprise to see it being used as a key instrument in the form of relaxing and calming music. Piano Meditations is Adrian’s third album (Sky Blue Piano and Journey – Twelve Romances for Piano, being the first two). I have personally enjoyed listening to each track and I am looking forward to learning to play them thanks to the accompanying sheet music book.

Looking at the individual tracks, I love the flow, variations and pace of Waves. Snowfall is extremely soothing and is quite dramatic in comparison to Waves. There is even more variety in Space and it sounds a lot lighter than Snowfall. Ascend resembles Waves and is equally calming. Evermore is definitely the perfect way to end the album as it has its own identity.

The music book is beautifully presented and very much reminds me of my graded exam books from ABRSM. The music is presented in a clear and concise style that is easy to follow with the necessary prompts (tempo, dynamics, style) all clearly mentioned. I think it is wonderful to have an accompanying sheet music book and I will be learning to play the songs in my own time.

I highly recommend listening to this album if you enjoy soothing instrumental music, and enjoy listening to a professional play the piano. You can stream the album on Spotify, YouTube and all of the usual places.

Read her review here

“His music is just sublime - you won’t be disappointed!” - Buxton Fringe 2020

The weather gremlins really had it in for pianist and composer Adrian today. A storm at his end and rain in Buxton disrupted the live broadcast.

Being a true professional, Adrian re-started his live concert after some technical adjustments and I'm so glad he did. His music is just sublime; I lay back and floated on Adrian's picks from his two CDs.

If pushed I would chose 'Northern Lights' as my favourite. It made me imagine a crisp, cold winters night - snow on the ground, watching the Aurora Borealis dance to Adrian's music or were his fingers dancing on the keys in time to the lights? I have no idea if this was Adrian's intention, I only know I loved it.

Adrian also treated us to a sneak preview from his CD due out next year, the track titled 'Castle Crag' was inspired by the beautiful Lake District.

If you missed Adrian or had technical difficulties, tune into his facebook page where the recording (thankfully perfect quality) is still available - you won't be disappointed!

Carole Garner

Read their concert review here

A “must watch” online piano performance - Pianist Magazine (June 2020)

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“Easily accessible and pianistically written, keeping the listener on their toes” - Pianist Magazine (2019)

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SKY BLUE PIANO Sheet Music Book - Adrian Lord

Having spent a decade in music retail, Adrian Lord now works in the musical trade as a pianist and composer. This collection has a remarkably professional presentation for what appears to be a self-published book - the design and typeface are indeed superior to some publishers. The music, ranging from Grade 5-7, is easily accessible and pianistically written. Harmonic progressions do not follow predictable paths, keeping the listener on their toes, and thoughtful changes of texture and registers prevent repeated material from sounding bland. I’d recommend sampling some of Lord’s pieces on his website, adrianlordpiano.com.

Michael McMillan - PIANIST MAGAZINE (Issue 110 October - November 2019)

“You need this music in your life as it is the perfect way to switch off and wind down.” - Buxton Fringe 2019

This was Adrian Lord’s first appearance at Buxton Fringe and I certainly hope it won’t be his last, this was 45 minutes of shear bliss.

Adrian is an award-winning composer pianist from Cheshire, however we can claim him as one of our own as he used to reside in Chapel-en-le-Frith before hopping the county border.

He spellbound his audience by performing a selection of original compositions from his 2016 album ‘Journey – Twelve Romances for Piano’ and his 2018 album ‘Blue Sky Piano’, both recorded on a Steinway in Crear, Western Scotland. Buxton Methodist Church certainly did it justice with its wonderful acoustics.

Introducing each piece from this very personal collection provided an insight into the inspiration, which the audience could then translate through the music itself.

It was everything compositions should be: uplifting dramatic; haunting; and thoroughly relaxing. We got swept away with ‘Sky Blue’, then onto ‘Northern Lights’ which was written for his daughter Hannah, who has clearly inherited the artistic streak as her artwork for the album cover was fantastic. ‘True North’ was dedicated to his wife Donna as they married on the beach close to where the song was recorded in Scotland. Then came ‘A Million Words’, a tribute to his late father who bought him the piano he still composes on today. ‘Misty Isle’ you can check our yourself on YouTube along with imagery from Crear. My personal favourites were ‘Homecoming’ and ‘The Wedding’ which were utterly beautiful and very moving. The performance was then concluded with ‘Time to Remember’ dedicated to his mother who thankfully started him on his journey with the piano.

You certainly do not need to be a piano buff to appreciate and enjoy this event. You need this music in your life as it is the perfect way to switch off and wind down.

Please, please, please come back!

Karen Wain-Pimlott

Read their concert review here

"These pieces will be propped up on my piano waiting to be played time and time again.” - Joan Kaye

Thank you to piano teacher Joan Kaye in allowing me to publish her review of my sheet music books:

“Afternoon Adrian. I just thought I’d give you some feedback on your books. Having sight-read through them and then returned to study in more depth I have some thoughts on them - all positive!

From a personal point of view - fabulous intricate melodies and rhythm patterns plus those delicious flat keys and harmonies. The pieces explored the upper and lower octaves of the piano which really showed off my beautiful instrument in all its glory.

Some pieces were a challenge from a sight reading point of view when double flats and sharps entered the mix causing me to check I was playing the correct chords! A general lack of clutter regarding dynamics leans itself to self expression. These pieces will be propped up on my piano waiting to be played time and time again.

From a teaching point of view - plenty of examples of double thirds which for weaker fingers can be a challenge, so great for strengthening them. Lovely block chords - I might need to adapt the number of notes in them for smaller hands though. Complex rhythms for the more advanced, along with those fluctuating keys to see them on their toes. Crossing hands - always enjoyed by pupils, and “hidden” melodies helping them to balance the touch while one hand murmurs in the background.

All in all - fabulous and so different. Love them. 😁​😁​“

“Unpretentious and from the heart” - Jonathan Woolf (Music Web International)

British pianist and composer Adrian Lord was born in Cheshire and had fortnightly lessons in piano at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester before studying for a music degree at Colchester Institute’s School of Music. Composition lessons with Alan Bullard and Christopher Ball followed and he is now an active performer, as a look at his website quickly shows.

He has composed twelve Romances, which he recorded at the acoustically superior Crear House on a Steinway Model D. Each one bears an evocative title and these narratively descriptive pieces, unpretentious and from the heart, are both rewarding and entertaining. The opening Prelude is especially warmly textured, with Lord’s trademark repeated bass figures and crisp, limpid and lively treble playing for maximal contrast. From delicate tracery to richly chorded breadth, this is a life-affirming piece. Journey has an admixture, in places, of Michael Nyman’s writing, though elsewhere it cleaves to the folkloric. He can also mine elements that enshrine a pop sensibility, albeit with moments of tristesse, as in Ripples. His favourite D flat major serves him at several points in this recital, most notably perhaps in the mellow richness of Footsteps, its ruminative element coming – I’m sure coincidentally – quite close to Lilac Wine at one point.

The Wedding is the most cherishably beautiful of the lyrical pieces to be encountered on this album – it was written for his own wedding day – but there is also the domestic-cum-nature setting of Wildfire to demonstrate that Lord is also inspired by topography and place. Other pieces enshrine more compact sensibilities: Little Star, written for his daughter, is tender, whilst Kaleidoscope has the mighty force of organ-like hymnal solemnity. Time to Remember was written as an envoi for his mother and it flows not as an elegy but more as a celebration.

It ends a charming and often touching album. These little pieces are wholly unpretentious and all the nicer for it. The sheet music is available to buy too.

Jonathan Woolf

Read their album review here

“Highly enjoyable & atmospheric miniatures” - Nick Boston (Nick’s Classical Notes)

I recently reconnected with an old school friend, pianist Adrian Lord, discovering he has just released a recording of his own Twelve Romances for Piano, entitled Journey. As the name would suggest, this is a very personal set of solo piano pieces, some inspired by significant places, such as childhood holidays in the Peak District, and travels in Scotland. The album was recorded in the stunning setting of a studio at Crear in Western Scotland, overlooking the Paps of Jura. This is a highly enjoyable and atmospheric short set of miniatures, with a common thread of rhythmic momentum and interest over simple harmonic progressions. The result is often very effective and engaging. There are clear references to family roots in the Lancashire mills, with spinning rhythms in ‘Blaize’ and ‘Revolutions’, and a similar sense of perpetual motion in the hypnotic opening ‘Prelude’. The pieces are united by their use of repetition and arpeggiated patterns, yet variety is achieved in imaginative use of dynamics, such as in the fiery sections of ‘Wildfire’, and the moving concluding ‘Time to Remember’, written in memory of his recently deceased mother. Adrian performs this personal collection with conviction, and the quasi-improvisatory nature of his compositions makes for very engaging listen.

Read the album review here